Trust, Service

& Accountability

Behaving Ethically

Caretaker period

Elections place particular requirements on public servants.  Special arrangements apply in the lead up to an election, when the Government assumes a ‘caretaker’ role.

Guidelines for caretaker conventions are issued by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) prior to an election and are available at Under the conventions, Departments and agencies generally should not be requested to provide policy advice during the caretaker period.  However, Ministers may continue to ask Departments and agencies for factual information and material concerning the normal day-to-day business of government.  Managers need to ensure that employees engaged with the Minister’s office are fully aware of, and comply with, the caretaker conventions and practices.

The caretaker conventions should be discussed with the Minister’s office in advance of an election, with further discussions as required.

Questions regarding the caretaker conventions should be directed to the Secretary of DPC.